The Star Spangled Spectacular, Marana’s annual bash celebrating Independence Day, is pretty much every kind of July 4th celebration, all rolled into one. No matter how you like to celebrate our nation’s founding, you’re bound to find your scene at this party. With live entertainment, dozens of food trucks, two beer gardens, all kinds of kids’ activities, and vendors throughout the event, there are attractions for one and all. Download the Marana Events app for iPhone and Android, and read on for more information.
Let’s get right down to business. It’s not a July 4th celebration if there aren’t fireworks. Everything else is just icing on the red, white, and blue cake, and in Marana, we like our fireworks big, loud, spectacular. This year’s fireworks show will close out the event as our grand finale—launch time is 9pm sharp. Listen to our soundtrack of all America’s greatest hits, including the old standards as well as a few more recent melodies. America’s songbook celebrates all that we have to be proud of in this great country, so the soundtrack for our fireworks show is all about highlighting that patriotic spirit. As you listen to the music and watch the fireworks, enjoy opulent showers of glittering lights that cover every color of the rainbow. Feel their thunderous roar as they arc across the sky. Marvel at their beauty and at the amazing country that they represent. After all, isn’t that why we’re all here?
Throughout the Star Spangled Spectacular, performers will be providing the soundtrack for July 4th from two stages. The music at this year’s event will cover all corners of Americana, from country to Motown, from indie pop to patriotic anthems.
At 5:30 pm on Stage 2, Caiden Brewer will be taking the stage with his country swagger. A Southern Arizona native, Caiden Brewer was born with country music in his blood. After an injury that preempted his athletic scholarships to college, Caiden began to channel his ambition towards writing music, culminating in his debut E.P., "On The Run." A modern incarnation of outlaw country, Caiden's music draws inspiration from his own experiences growing up one step ahead of the law while staying true to his blue collar roots.
At 6pm, don’t miss, on Stage 1, Steff and the Articles, an indie pop band with jazz influences. In 2009, singer-songstress Steff Koeppen joined forces with bassist Chris Pierce and drummer Tom Beech, and they currently perform with violinists Jessica Muiseke & Alexandra Tuggle. The group produces music that touches on jazz, classical, and folk styles while maintaining an accessible, pop-oriented sound. They've opened up for national acts such as A Great Big World, Holychild, and Copeland (whose most recent record Ixora features Steff).
Starting at 7pm, the George Howard Band will be playing Motown favorites on Stage 2. George Howard has been involved in playing the blues and R&B for over 25 years. He has worked with a line-up of blues greats, including John Lee Hooker, Syl Johnson, Louisiana Red, Bo Diddley, Charlie Mussellwhite, Jimmy Thackery, Johnny Lang, Albert Collins, and Willie Nelson. George has also produced and co-produced records on independent labels, as well as promoting concerts and managing bands. George has recently been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Tucson Music Awards Hall of Fame. George is also the president and founder of the Tucson Musicians Museum. In the arena of blues and R&B, George Howard is considered in the heavyweight division.
As we get closer to the big day, we will announce more bands here, so stay tuned!
Food & Drink
The Star Spangled Spectacular is Marana’s biggest signature event of the year, and this is where the food trucks show up in force. This year, we’re expecting more than 30 food vendors, so that means that whatever kind of cuisine you’re in the mood for, we’ll have it.
If you’re looking for something to wash down that hot dog (or taco, or pizza, or kettle corn), and you’re at least 21, look no further than our two beer gardens. That’s right, this year, by popular demand, we’ve added a new beer garden near Stage 1 in addition to the original beer garden which will still be located near the volleyball courts. Now, you can enjoy your favorite bands and your favorite brews, all at the same time. Though both beer gardens will be enclosed, all ages are permitted in these areas. Only those with wristbands, though, will be able to purchase alcohol, and no alcohol can be taken outside the beer garden perimeter.
The Star Spangled Spectacular is an event that kids will love. Want to get ahead of the fun? Sign up for the cornhole tournament! Inflatables of all shapes and sizes will keep the younger set busy. During the warm summer weather, nothing is more refreshing than plummeting down a waterslide, and that’s just one of the gigantic, air-filled attractions we’ll have at the event.
Once you’ve jumped through all the castles and slid down all the slides, stop by the free face painting station. Want to look like your favorite character from Beauty and the Beast? Be our guest! How about a classic character from Aladdin? Your wish is our command! Whatever face design you can imagine, our face painter is ready to oblige.
Once you’ve got your game face on, look around for our patriotic stilt walker. He won’t be hard to find because This Uncle Sam definitely drank his milk and ate his Wheaties when he was just a wee Nephew Sam. Today, he’s a towering seven feet tall, and he’s eager to wish you a Happy July 4th.
And now that you’ve had a quick rest, it’s time to head back to the water slide. Race you there!
Attending the Star Spangled Spectacular means hanging out with your neighbors across Marana, including a number of local businesses who will have booths at the event. Whether you’re interested in learning more about health care options in the community, finding a local bank or credit union, or just doing some summer shopping, be sure to stop by the vendor area
Last year, more than 15,000 people attended the Star Spangled Spectacular, and this year, we’re expecting even more. In order to accommodate all these attendees, Marana staff are currently developing a new parking plan. Details will be shared here as soon as they are finalized.
This July 4th, there’s no better place than Marana to enjoy all that Independence Day has to offer. Marana’s patriotic spirit runs strong throughout the year, and the Star Spangled Spectacular is really our opportunity to celebrate that spirit with enthusiasm.